Week Five Picks

Posted: October 3, 2018 in Football, New entries, NFL
I went 9-6 with my picks last week. Here’s my week five predictions:
NE over IND – Julian Edelman returns in time for the Colts game. Patriots should win at home. Josh Gordon will have more time to familiarize himself with Brady and offense. Colts have a better than advertised defense but the Patriots are still in another league right now. And Frank Reich is still learning how to be a head coach.
TEN over BUF – I one hundred percent of the time recommend picking against Buffalo in 2018. Vrabel’s been working some magic in Tennessee and they deserve credit for beating 2 playoff teams from last season.
ATL over PIT – This should be such a close game. Both defenses have been scoring-friendly with Atlanta down three starting former pro bowlers and Pittsburgh just not having strong nickel/safety play. I like Matt Ryan as a better passer right now than Ben Roethlisberger. Ben doesn’t have LeVeon Bell to lean on any more. As unsteady as ATL’s been, the Falcons should continue to expose Pittsburgh’s secondary. I expect Calvin Ridley to go off again this week.
DEN over NYJ – The Broncos play competitive defense and have formed a clear identity on how they’d like to win games. If Case can be accurate, Denver has serious deep threat weapons and a bruising young rushing duo in Royce Freeman and Philip Lindsay. The Jets haven’t demonstrated competitiveness since week one.
KC over JAX – This should be the game of the week. I like KC in Arrowhead stadium. Leonard Fournette is out. The Chiefs defense will have to defend TJ Yeldon and Kendall Fuller will have to capitalize on inevitable Blake Bortles mistakes.
GB over DET – Green Bay’s talented enough they should win here. If Jimmy Graham plays I can’t see how Detroit is supposed to consistently cover him. Aaron Jones is back and gives Green Bay a physical presence.
BAL over CLE – Cleveland finally has hope for the future with Baker, but the Ravens defense might be the best in Football, and they’re getting Jimmy Smith back. As good as Baker’s been, he’s still a rookie and this will be his toughest defensive test yet.
CAR over NYG – The Panthers are having success running the ball with Christian McCaffrey.  The Giants are a mess and need a fresh start at QB. This will be Eric Reid’s first game since 2017. The Giants haven’t shown they can rush the passer or defend the pass.
CIN over MIA – I have to continue to pick the Bengals as long as they are playing clean football. Joe Mixon’s not a lock to return for week five, but Giovani Bernard’s been getting it done in his absence either way. Cincy wins at home. Miami just lost Center Daniel Kilgore.
LAC over OAK – This is actually a losable game for the Bolts. Oakland has kept it close in all of their games through the first half at least. L.A. will get Corey Liuget back and the Raiders still can’t muster a pass rush.
SF over ARZ (Homer pick don’t trust) – C.J. Beathard actually played fairly well against the Chargers last week. You generally don’t want to put any money on Jimmy Garoppolo-less 49ers this year but Arizona has no offense right now. Matt Breida is also playing better than David Johnson so far.
PHI over MIN – Both of these teams seem to be broken. The Eagles soundly trounced Minnesota in the playoffs with Nick Foles. Philly will get back on track with Carson Wentz connecting with Alshon Jeffery and Jordan Matthews.
LAR over SEA – The Rams are pretty good.
HOU over DAL – Dallas is playing disciplined defense and can still run well. Bill O’Brien still fields a strong defensive core and J.J. Watt looks like he’s back. Watson can throw the Texans back into the game and the Cowboys haven’t shown they can do that.
NO over WAS – The Redskins are just good enough to beat teams not on their A Game. The Saints get Mark Ingram back and have home field advantage. The Saints are still a top NFC team.
  1. New York Jets – Ed Oliver, Houston DT – The Jets run a three down linemen set or Nick Bosa would be the pick here. Oliver is stout against the run and an elite interior pass rusher. If there is a coaching change and the defense switches to four down linemen expect Nick Bosa to go here.
  2. Arizona Cardinals – Nick Bosa, OSU DE – Bosa had sixteen stops for a loss in his stellar rookie campaign. Cards head coach is a defensive guru but even if he wasn’t you don’t pass on Nick Bosa assuming Nick is healthy. Bosa can help the Cardinals fill the void left by Demi-God DE Calais Campbell.
  3. Oakland Raiders – Clelin Ferrell, Clemson DE – Jon Gruden had a beast on defense when he won a Superbowl with Tampa Bay, Khalil Mack is no sure thing for the Raiders’ future and Ferrell has already proven his worth as an elite pass rusher.
  4. Buffalo Bills – Rashan Gary, Michigan DE – The Bills traded away DT Marcell Dareus with no obvious replacement. The Bills need all sorts of help on offense, pretty much at every position. Gary can fill in on the edge or at defensive tackle with elite size and production.
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Drew Lock, Mizzou QB – Tampa Bay has never signed a QB they’ve drafted to a second contract. They can choose between paying Jameis Winston exorbitant sums of money with future potential off field issues or start fresh with the taller version of Baker Mayfield.
  6. Cincinnati Bengals – Greg Little, Ole Miss OT – Cordy Glenn has an out after this season so if he’s not playing at a seven and a half million dollar level they can dump him and draft his replacement. Even if they keep Cordy, Greg can start at right tackle in the mean time.
  7. Seattle Seahawks – DeAndre Baker, Georgia CB – Baker would have been a first round pick if he would have come out in 2018. I don’t envision Pete Carroll will still be with this franchise when they draft in 2019, regardless Baker represents the draft’s top corner who Seattle will be searching for.
  8. New York Giants – Justin Herbert, Oregon QB – The Giants don’t have their future QB on the roster. Herbert possesses ideal height, size, arm strength, and accuracy that old school football gms like Dave Gettlemen prioritize.
  9. Cleveland Browns – Dexter Lawrence, Clemson DT – The Browns traded away Danny Shelton and have been struggling to fill the void at defensive tackle. Lawrence is the core of an elite defensive line at Clemson and should be able to contribute immediately.
  10. The Jacksonville Badguars – Josh Allen, LB Kentucky – Jacksonville’s defense is elite, but they won’t be able to pay all those players forever. Allen is a highly versatile defender who can rush the passer or play the run if needed. They Jaguars won’t draft a QB here because they enjoy losing.

Dave’s mini-rants:

  • Donald Trump surely has something better to do with his time than to petition ESPN to air the pregame anthem. I’m a conservative and I’m saying this.
  • Ohio State should just fire Urban Meyer. I’m sure guys have done worse stuff and kept their jobs, but there are tons of excellent coaching candidates and retaining Meyer makes Ohio State fans feel dirty. Fans should be able to watch football and not feel dirty.
  • Unless Jon Gruden has some true Gruden Magic up his sleeve, the Raiders should be calling NFC teams to ship away Khalil Mack far away for high draft picks (Packers, Redskins)
  • I will never stop rooting for Raiders UDFA hopeful Chris Warren III as he continues to tear up the preseason
  • Jacksonville is overrated and they won’t go back to the playoffs. If they don’t replace Blake Bortles their head coach gets fired.


Kerryon Johnson, Lions Running Back – New Lions head coach Matt Patricia is a defensive mastermind and will implement from his time in New England a more balanced ground/passing mix than has happened in Detroit in the past (The Lions were the last place rushing attack (32/32) in terms of rushing yards per game in 2017). As a defense guy, Patricia should rely more on the ground game and as evidenced by their investments in the offensive line this offseason. First round pick Center Frank Ragnow, free agents TJ Lang and Ricky Wagner bring a new-look offensive line for Detroit. LeGarrette Blount could steal some goal line touches from Johnson, but Blount’s best years are behind him and Johnson should have plenty of opportunity to win the starting job after playing big boy football against future NFL talent at Auburn for three years.

Nyheim Hines, Colts Running Back – The Colts, like the Lions have not boasted a fearsome ground game in seasons past. Hines has shown a strong running presence against above average D-1 defenses such as Florida State and Boston College. Hines’ 5’8″ stature mean that his 197-lb weight should not be a deterrent in helping him push through defenses. It should also be mentioned that the Colts organization invested a first round draft pick on Quenton Nelson who should open sizable running lanes for whoever lines up at running back for Indianapolis. Colts RB Marlon Mack has shown value as a gadget back like Tarik Cohen or Duke Johnson with pass catching prowess, Hines should have ample opportunity to earn the starting role as bruiser with low center of gravity.

Royce Freeman, Denver Broncos RB – I obviously am high on this rookie class of running backs. Freeman was an Oregon power back who has a chance to win a fairly open job against smaller back Devontae Booker who never took off in his rookie season. C.J. Anderson provided the physical presence for Denver last season with underperforming QB play. Freeman showed next level play against UW’s top five defense last season with over five yards a clip with more than one hundred yards. Freeman should see more touches to close out games as his build his tailor-made to push into eight man boxes Leonard Fournette style.

Carlos Hyde, Cleveland Browns RB – Now that the Browns have more reliable QB play they should be able to hand off the ball to fewer eight man boxes in 2018. The loss of Joe Thomas will certainly be felt but the Browns still have strong interior o-line run blocking play and added Austin Corbett for the future. Hyde has never been a sexy option at RB1 but is a reliable workhorse and has a favorable situation in Cleveland. Teammates Duke Johnson and Nick Chubb can threaten to take touches away from Hyde but he should be the favorite as it stands.

Frank Gore, Miami Dolphins RB – Gore entered the NFL when George Bush Jr was the president of the United States. He’s held a starting job since his second season when he ran for 1,695 yards rushing for the 49ers. The Dolphins brought in the league’s top free agent run blocking guard in Josh Sitton and return a quarterback who isn’t Jay Cutler. The involvement of rookie tight end Mike Gesicki should also open up more space near the line of scrimmage for Gore to do his job. Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake showed last season he’s more than capable of being the workhorse if Gore goes down or can’t perform well.

Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia Eagles RB – Depending on the size and intelligence of your fantasy league, Ajayi might end up being a first round pick or a late round gem. Ajayi overall boasted the strongest running back play from 2017. While the Eagles will spread the ball around at RB more than say Dallas or the Giants will, their ridiculous offense should still give Ajayi plenty of touches and points with sixteen full games and a full off-season to learn the offense. The Eagles retain an absurdly talented offensive line and have a passing attack to push back linebackers to give Ajayi more space to move the ball.

Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers RB – Breida is truly a late round pickup. Jerick Mckinnon looks to get the bulk of the carries but he has spent most of his career splitting time with another back. Breida is not the pass-catchiest of backs. As a matter of fact, in PPR leagues you should get nowhere near Matt Breida. In other leagues Breida can be a steal. He averaged four plus yards per carry as a rookie and six plus ypc against the Jaguars supposed league’s best defense.

In February of 2014, NFL investigator Ted Wells released a report indicating former Dolphins OL Richie Incognito had engaged in a “pattern of harassment” against teammate Jonathan Martin with comments of a racial nature as well as sexual comments about his mother and sister. The incident was a major news item for the NFL at the time with different fans taking both sides of the situation.* Since then both players’ careers and personal lives have taken a sharp turn into devastation, or so it seems.

Jonathan Martin would later be traded to the 49ers, then coached by his former college coach Jim Harbaugh where he played one season before retiring. Martin recently (Feb. 2018) was arrested after posting on Instagram a message that implied he intended to shoot up his former prep school Harvard Westlake and listed names of former teammates including Richie Incognito next to a photo of a shotgun. Martin would later be detained by police.

Incognito had finished his three year contract in Miami and remained unsigned for a year before signing with the Buffalo Bills. Incognito had a successful three-year run with the Bills before retiring, un-retiring, asking for release from the Bills, and then apparently losing his mind at a gym in Florida (May 2018) where he accused another man of spying on him for the NSA and throwing a barbell at him. Incognito, while not arrested, was subject to involuntary mental evaluation under the Baker Act after his outburst. Incognito posted on his twitter that he is home and hoping to sign with another team.

I am not an expert on mental health issues, playing pro football, or how playing pro football affects one’s mental health. The issues at play with both Martin and Incognito imply that playing professional football, a sport heavily inundated with concussions and inherent violence exacerbate existing mental health issues in players or cause them in the first place.

In 2017, Boston University conducted a study on the brains of 111 former NFL players and found that 110 of them (99%) showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease found in Dave Duerson and Junior Seau, two former NFL players who ended their life after retiring.  I’d love to say I have a solution here. An answer for how to help people like Martin and Incognito, and how to prevent future athletes from having these same situations occur. While I firmly believe bullying is wrong and has no justification I can’t believe that just saying: “Don’t Bully” will make much of a difference. The eventual future looks like Football will have to be so changed that it is unrecognizable to Football today or for Football to be banned altogether. I only have more questions.

Don’t let your kids play Football.

*(Sidenote: I remember reading a youtube comment saying that Martin was a millionaire and an adult and shouldn’t cry about being made fun of at work. I later concluded that one should be able to go to their place of employment without being bullied, harassed, or having your race or family members sexually commented on by a coworker, NFL player or not.)

Final Mock Draft

Posted: April 26, 2018 in Football, New entries, NFL
  1. Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, USC QB – All this last second talk of Baker Mayfield smells like a smokescreen. ““Baker Mayfield … runs around and he kind of gets the ball downfield, has some good accuracy there.” That’s not something you say about the guy you draft number one. The Josh Allen predictions almost make sense with how Mahomes was considered a high risk guy. I drink Mike Mayock’s Kool Aid, who thinks Darnold goes at One here.
  2. New York Giants – Bradley Chubb, NC State DE – The Giants won two Superbowls with virtually no ground game. Barkley could make sense as a value pick from a certain angle. I can’t see how Gettleman doesn’t take Chubb. And if forty is the new thirty-five for Quarterbacks, maybe they really think Eli plays two to three more years.
  3. New York Jets (traded with Colts) – Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma QB – Supposedly the Jets like Baker. In the past they’ve taken USC talent. Analytics point to Baker being the only QB worth taking in this draft. With Rosen supposedly being number one for nobody and Allen requiring a multi-year investment to become an NFL starter Baker makes the most sense here.
  4. Buffalo Bills (Trade from Cleveland) – Josh Allen, Wyoming QB – The Bills clearly want to move up. Among reasons for Buffalo to want Josh Allen are; he played in cold weather frequently, he is very tall, and “likes buffalo wings.” In all seriousness, the Bills cannot wait too long to trade up. If the Bills weren’t satisfied with Tyrod Taylor, Allen would represent the polar opposite of the QB spectrum. Rosen is possible here also.
  5. Denver Broncos – Saquon Barkley, Penn State RB – The Broncos don’t have an urgent need to draft a quarterback here. If Barkley is available at five, Denver can replace C.J. Anderson with possibly the best player in the draft. John Elway, himself a former west coast passer will consider Josh Rosen, but could get the number one running back instead of the number four QB.
  6. Green Bay Packers (Trade with Indianapolis Colts) – Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama DB – The Colts are reportedly looking to trade down, and the Packers to trade up. Minkah can take over for Damarious Randall and he plays for Alabama, a school the Packers like to draft from.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James, FSU SS  – James is a highly touted prospect from both an analytics and traditional scouting perspective. The Bucs have needs at tackle, running back, and pass rush. James is a value pick who can help to cover all the receiving height in the NFC South.
  8. Arizona Cardinals (Trade from Chicago Bears) – Josh Rosen, UCLA QB – The Bears have lots of needs across the board. The Cardinals have one enormous need behind center. The Cardinals have liked west coast passers who are more of a fit for what they typically like to do. Cardinals OC Mike McCoy will love to get a quarterback who can take over in game three when Sam Bradford goes down with a season ending injury.
  9. San Francisco 49ers – Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame OL – Should Nelson be available here, the 49ers would be smart to pick him up. Jimmy Garoppolo gets two games in 2018 against Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh. With the Reuben Foster situation being relatively stabilized (for now) John Lynch can choose to protect his $100 million dollar investment over drafting yet another defensive player in round one.
  10. Raiders – Roquan Smith, Georgia ILB – The Butkus award winner from 2017 should help the Raiders awful run defense. Tremaine Edmunds is a real possibility here as well, but Smith fills an immediate need.
  11. Miami Dolphins –Denzel Ward, Ohio State CB – Unless Miami wants to get in a bidding war with Arizona, they can still land a top defensive prospect at eleven. Vita Vea is not a replacement for Suh, Ward can instantly be the top corner for the team.
  12. Cleveland Browns (Trade from Bills) –Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech LB – The Browns get a highly skilled, plus measurables defender in Edmunds. The Browns could also look at offensive tackle here to replace Joe Thomas.
  13. Washington Redskins – Derrius Guice, LSU RB – The Redskins could use improvement at the running back position and Guice projects to play well in the pros. Drafting a back in the first round isn’t sexy, Guice fills a need for the Redskins and is a blue chip back.
  14. Indianapolis Colts – Harold Landry, BC OLB/DE – The Colts have an atrocious pass rush. Landry is an extremely capable pass rusher who should start of Indy immediately.
  15. Chicago Bears – Will Hernandez, UTEP OG – Hernandez possesses several desirable traits for a starting NFL guard. The Bears need to replace starting high performer Josh Sitton. They also have needs at center where Grasu hasn’t been healthy or consistent when healthy where Hernandez could eventually slot in.
  16. Baltimore Ravens – Daron Payne, Alabama DT – Payne seems tailor-made for what the Ravens like. He won the starting job at Alabama. He plays extremely aggressively
  17.  Los Angeles Chargers – UW DT, Vita Vea – The Bolts run defense is garbage tier. If Vea does one thing well it’s defending the run. If Tom Telesco likes one of the running backs they could acquire Nick Chubb or Penny instead of paying Gordon after the 2018 season.
  18.  Seattle Seahawks – Marcus Davenport, UTSA DE – Seattle has lived and died on defense. The loss of Sherman and Bennett hurt for sure. A great pass rush can make up for holes in the defense. Davenport can provide Seattle with the pass rushing threat that Bennett gave them for so many years.
  19. Dallas Cowboys – Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State LB – I feel Courtland Sutton makes a ton of sense here, but the Cowboys defense needs help. Vander Esch performed well at the combine and can eventually replace the cardboard Sean Lee.
  20. Detroit Lions – Maurice Hurst, Michigan Defensive Tackle – Hurst if healthy could be the steal of this draft. Patricia will want to draft value defenders in his first year with Detroit. Hurst has had medical scares before but had a successful career at Michigan. PFF.COM says Hurst could have a Donald-like impact at the next level.
  21. Cincinnati Bengals from Buffalo Bills – Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame OT – The Bengals offensive line is showing flaws. Cordy Glenn was a several year starter for Buffalo but he is not a long term solution.
  22. Buffalo Bills – Mike Gesicki, Penn State TE – Josh Allen will need some big targets for his 56% arm to throw to. Gesicki blew up the combine and should be a great safety blanket for Allen.
  23. New England Patriots – Lamar Jackson, Louisville QB – TB12 just got another customer…?
  24. Carolina Panthers – Connor Williams, Texas OT – The Panthers overspent on Matt Kalil and it hasn’t worked out. A receiver like D.J. Moore could go here as well.
  25. Tennessee Titans – Josh Jackson, Iowa CB – The Titans need a safety. Jackson has the size to move to safety or just be another great coverage guy.
  26. Atlanta Falcons – D.J. Moore, Maryland WR – Moore is the top wide receiver. The Falcons expect too much of Jones and need a true number two to take attention off Jones. Moore played great in no man’s land at Maryland with different QBs.
  27. New Orleans Saints – Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State TE – Goedert is a true tight end who is willing to block for and a fierce pass catching threat. The Saints offense may regain some firepower from seasons past with a reliable asset that has Goedert’s height.
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Isaiah Oliver, Colorado CB – Oliver nearly shut down any passes thrown his way while at Colorado. Oliver’s 6 foot plus so he can run with A.J. Green and Josh Gordon in the AFC South.
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Calvin Ridley, Alabama WR – While the Jaguars don’t throw the ball a ton, Ridley can become that true number one for when they do. I suppose the Jaguars could look at Mason Rudolph here.
  30. Minnesota Vikings – Okla. OT, Orlando Brown – The Vikings could look at slot corner here. This offensive line is SO BAD considering how good the team is. Brown’s conditioning got called into question when he under-performed at the combine. Brown was a consistent performer against top competition at Oklahoma.
  31. New England Patriots – Courtland Sutton, SMU WR – The Patriots have a need at wide receiver. Bill doesn’t draft wide receivers before round five very often, but that doesn’t mean he won’t. The Patriots could also go with a Tackle, or say, Josey Jewell for inside linebacker.
  32. Philadelphia Eagles – Kolton Miller, UCLA OT – The Eagles lost tons of depth but still feel like the toughest team in the NFL. Drafting Miller would allow them to prepare for a future without Jason Peters. Peters is possibly the best left tackle in football when healthy.
  1. Cleveland Browns – USC QB, Sam Darnold – Purportedly several NFL GM’s view Darnold as the number one guy. Daniel Jeremiah began singing Darnold’s praises after his 2016 season. I’m not buying the “Josh Allen at One” narratives that Dorsey loves arm strength more than overall play.
  2. Buffalo Bills (projected trade) –  UCLA QB, Josh Rosen – Bills GM Brandon Beane would have to overspend to get to number two, but trading away Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati and trading up period makes no sense if they don’t get their guy.  Rosen’s perceived as being ready to start sooner than other QB prospects in this draft. The name at QB1 for the Bills depth chart is A.J. McCarron, easily the most unproven QB set to start 2018.
  3. New York Jets (traded with Colts) – Wyoming QB, Josh Allen – Baker Mayfield is a real possibility here. Allen has high upside and plenty of mentorship opportunity from Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater to learn from. Allen had a great combine. Based on who GM Mike Maccagnan has drafted in the past, I think he’ll like Josh Allen better than Baker.
  4. Cleveland Browns – PSU RB, Saquon Barkley – At one point it was considered possible that Cleveland would take Barkley first overall after they signed Tyrod Taylor. Getting Barkley with their fourth would be the best possible scenario for Cleveland.
  5. Denver Broncos –  OU QB, Baker Mayfield – I can’t buy the Quenton Nelson hot takes here. Bradley Chubb is possible at five. Based on analytics, Baker Mayfield’s the only QB worth drafting in this class.  Denver QB Case Keenum was an extremely prolific 6 foot college passer who could get along with Baker until Denver feels comfortable with him. Denver traditionally values defense but I imagine John Elway will drool over the chance to land a QB with the potential of Baker.
  6. Indianapolis Colts – NCST DE, Bradley Chubb – The Colts get their guy anyway. Chubb fills an enormous need for Indy. They are garbage rushing the passer. Minkah would be a value pick here as well.
  7. Tampa Bay – FSU SS, Derwin James – James graded extremely well on ProFootballFocus.com and has impressive measurables. The Bucs would like to get Chubb at seven, but will settle for a hometown value defensive back.
  8. Chicago Bears – Notre Dame OL, Quenton Nelson – Nelson’s a blue chip guard prospect. The Bears have a hole to fill after losing Josh Sitton, one of the league’s top guards in free agency.
  9. San Francisco 49ers – Va. Tech LB, Tremaine Edmunds – Edmunds has crazy measurables and gives the 49ers leverage with the Reuben Foster situation. I’m a 49ers fan and want them to draft Maurice Hurst here. Hurst is a medical scare and won’t go top ten.
  10. Raiders – UGA LB Roquan Smith – Smith earned the prestigious Dick Butkus award given to the top linebacker in 2017. The Raiders had a gaping hole at run defense and smith is a top prospect who should be able to start contributing immediately.
  11. Miami Dolphins – Nick Saban U., Minkah Fitzpatrick – Fitzpatricks’ a top defensive back who can fill in at safety or corner. The ‘Phins struggled at corner last year. This is probably Gase’s last season, but Minkah a stud prospect for the short term and long term. Fitzpatrick was a huge part of Alabama’s championship run in 2017.
  12. New York Giants – BC OLB/DE, Harold Landry – Tom Coughlin is no longer with the organization, but the Giants personnel will recall how much success Boston College defenders over the years have had in the NFL. The Giants live and die on defense. Landry can start immediately and should form a beast with the other assets on the defensive line (Dalvin Tomlinson, Olivier Vernon).
  13. Washington Redskins – The Ohio State CB, Denzel Ward – The Redskins lost starting CBs Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland this offseason. The Redskins could also go with DT Vita Vea to assist with their run defense struggles.
  14. Green Bay Packers – Nick Saban U. WR, Calvin Ridley – Green Bay is in love with the Crimson Tide and are surprisingly light on wide receivers after letting Jordy Nelson walk. Ridley was the focal point of the championship Crimson Tide offense for years. Josh Jackson from Iowa is a possibility here.
  15. Arizona Cardinals – Louisville QB, Lamar Jackson – Jackson is a project, but the Cardinals are the team that can groom a raw rookie passer. Jackson has a cannon arm and top athleticism. Bradford can mentor Jackson and they have enough weapons on offense that the QB doesn’t have to win the game by himself.
  16. Baltimore Ravens – Maryland WR, D.J. Moore – ESPN released an analytics report raving about D.J. Moore’s production at Maryland. While not huge or fast, Moore is incredibly sure-handed and productive, two qualities Baltimore desperately needs at wide receiver. Their top wideout is Michael Crabtree.

17. Los Angeles Chargers – UW DT, Vita Vea – The Chargers had a stud pass defense and an atrocious rush defense in 2017. The Chargers could also rebuild their offensive line here with Connor Williams or Isaiah Wynn.
18. Seattle Seahawks – Iowa CB, Josh Jackson – Of the many needs Seattle has, defensive back has to be on Pete Carroll’s mind. Seattle also needs offensive line help outside of Duane Brown.
19. Dallas Cowboys – SMU WR, Courtland Sutton – Dez Bryant is still on the roster as of my writing this. Sutton is huge, performed well at the combine and could free up space for Dallas to pay DeMarcus Lawrence in 2019.
20. Detroit Lions – UTSA DE, Marcus Davenport – Ansah’s a productive pass rusher but he may not have the value to Detroit that he could have elsewhere. Ansah’s riding out a franchise tag, but if Matt Patricia is anything like his former head coach, he won’t want to pay Ansah long term. Davenport is the same type of risk/reward prospect Ansah was coming out of BYU.
21. Cincinnati Bengals from Buffalo Bills – UM DT, Maurice Hurst – The Bengals have needs at corner and offensive line. Hurst has a high ceiling and if his medical checks out he can pair GREAT with Bengals Ace DT Geno Atkins. Jaire Alexander could also go here.
22. New York Giants (Projected Trade) – Texas OT, Connor Williams – The Giants offensive line is pretty terrible. Pro Football Focus has it ranked as the 26th (out of 32) for 2017. The addition of Nate Solder will help, but even he’s a a slightly above average tackle. Williams could eventually take over at left tackle while starting at Right tackle immediately. Former first rounder Ereck Flowers hasn’t really panned out for the Giants.
23. Los Angeles Rams – BSU LB, Leighton Vander Esch – Esch is a bigger inside linebacker who excelled at Boise State. The Rams actually look pretty stacked on paper right now, with holes at inside linebacker. Esch is a high work ethic guy, Coach McVay will like that.
24. Carolina Panthers – UCLA OT, Kolton Miller – Left tackle has to be a priority for Carolina. Ryan Kalil will be retiring from center after 2018 and they will have little reason to keep under-performing Matt Kalil on the roster after that. Miller ran well at the combine. The Panthers could also look at Jaire Alexander here at corner.
25. Tennessee Titans – BC OLB, Harold Landry – The Titans could take a wide receiver here and it wouldn’t be a reach. I can’t imagine rookie head coach Mike Vrabel will take a wide receiver in round one when they can take Landry who has high potential at linebacker. Vrabel’s clearly a defensive mind and the Titans aren’t forced into drafting a certain position or player as they are solid at most core positions.
26. Atlanta Falcons – South Dakota State TE, Dallas Goedert – The Falcons offense in the postseason was Julio Jones vs. the world. Mohamed Sanu is a solid number two wideout, but Jones would benefit greatly by another red zone threat. The Falcons can drive the length of the field but stall in the redzone. Goedert can open up the offense for Matt Ryan.
27. New Orleans Saints – UGA OL, Isaiah Wynn – Drew Brees is still playing at a high level but he’s literally thirty-nine years old. The Saints hit the jackpot last draft getting Ryan Ramczyk, Marshon Lattimore, Marcus Williams, and Alvin Kamara in one draft, all of whom arguably played at a pro bowl level as rookies. Protecting Drew Brees should be paramount for this team. Wynn played a big part of Georgia’s playoff run as a left tackle.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Nick Saban U. LB, Rashaan Evans – The reality is that Ryan Shazier will not play in 2018. He may not play in 2019. The Steelers have to be ready at linebacker. The Steelers could also draft a running back here if they really want Bell gone, but they would’ve just let him walk if that was the plan all along. Evans is a trusty ‘Bama prospect who should be able to immediately contribute on D.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Louisville CB, Jaire Alexander – The Jags need a QB. I can’t imagine them drafting Luke Falk here. Alexander can fill in as a nickel corner until Jalen Ramsey’s rookie contract runs out and he’s demanding $25 million a year.
30. Minnesota Vikings – Okla. OT, Orlando Brown – The Vikings could look at slot corner here. This offensive line is SO BAD considering how good the team is. Brown’s conditioning got called into question when he under-performed at the combine. He’s got plus size and was successful in the College Football playoffs.
31. New England Patriots – Oregon OT, Tyrell Crosby – The Patriots will look at linebackers and quarterbacks here. They have the 49ers second round selection so they can maximize value and attempt to replace departed LT Nate Solder here. The Patriots could move Marcus Cannon to left tackle and have Crosby at right tackle until he’s ready to take over.
32. Philadelphia Eagles – Western Michigan OT, Chukwuma ‘Chuks’ Okorafor – Jason Peters is 36. If he doesn’t retire he has one year left on his contract. Outside of their crazy depth, the Eagles are relevant because of their incredibly high offensive line play. Replacing or preparing to replace Jason Peters should be paramount for Coach Pederson.